There's No Way Around It, Another Wizards Season is Here: Season Preview and Predictions | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

There’s No Way Around It, Another Wizards Season is Here: Season Preview and Predictions

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Updated: October 23, 2019

How many games will the Wizards win?

Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace) – 29 wins, including a whole lot of games where Bradley Beal scores 30 points and the Wizards give up 120.

Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) – 31 wins–and that’s assuming Bradley Beal plays 75-82 games.  If his body breaks down because Scott Brooks is channeling his inner Tom Thibodeau, and Beal misses a significant amount of games, this win total will plummet to 20 or less.

Bryan Frantz (@BFrantz202) – The ceiling is probably 35 or so, if Beal stays healthy and the young guys are productive early. The floor is sub-20. The reality is probably in the 26-28 range.

Troy Haliburton (@TroyHalibur) – Wizards will win 35 games and yes, I’m betting my future child’s college tuition on them hitting the over of 27 wins.

Given that “50-wins and ECF” is no longer the franchise’s stated goal, what would constitute a successful Wizards season this year?

@LedellsPlace – This is a trick question. In the grand scheme of things, there is no circumstance whereby this season can be considered a success. Two years ago, the Wizards were coming off an exciting seven-game Eastern Conference series against the Boston Celtics and were being touted as a top contender in the East.  One year ago, the owner called the team the most talented in decades. Now, fans are being told to ignore wins and losses and just be happy if the team plays really, really hard.

I don’t think so. Homey don’t play that.

Ted Leonsis cannot spend a decade insisting he has a plan in place and mocking fans who call for Ernie’s firing, only to say “my bad” and expect everyone to move on.

Now, if you are asking what could make the Wizards fall from grace more palatable: Substantial development from the only three non-Bradley Beal assets on the roster – Troy Brown, Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura. With limited cap space and an uncertain future for John Wall, the Wizards only path to respectability during Beal’s prime is from internal improvements. That should be the number one focus this season.

@rashad20 – A successful season is hearing that John Wall is ahead of schedule in his rehab, and is available for the first round of a Wizards playoff appearance that has no chance in hell of happening. The other tenets of a productive Wizards season include a healthy Beal, a significant jump in productivity from Thomas Bryant, and versatility on both ends of the floor by Rui Hachimura.  Lastly, this season will be a success of Isaiah Thomas embraces his role as a bench player, has a rejuvenation of sorts, and averages 17-20 points off the bench.  None of these things are as fancy and shiny as being one of the four top teams in the East, but it certainly gives Wizards fans, coaches and players, something to build on for next season.

@BFrantz202 – Playing the young guys all of the minutes; giving Beal a restful season; trading CJ Miles and any other productive role players above the age of 26 for assets; sticking to the long-term goals; avoiding scandals.

@TroyHalibur – A successful Wizards season would be getting 30+ wins and Rui, Thomas Bryant, and Troy Brown growing as players.

What is your current Wizards mood and why? (e.g., hopeful because of all the off-season front-office changes; depressed because you looked at the opening day roster; numb from decades of basketball irrelevance…)

@LedellsPlace – If you are not hopeful on opening night, then you might as well get in your car and move to the eastside. There is plenty of time for dissecting wins and losses (probably a lot more losses than wins) but for now I will set aside preconceived notions and get to know the new-look Wizards.

@rashad20 – Anyone who has ever played pickup basketball knows how it feels to be the eleventh man on the court after ten players have been selected for the upcoming game.  You pick up a spare basketball and shoot while the action is on the opposite side of the court, you do some fancy calisthenics to keep your body loose and limber, and you may even do a little scouting in anticipation for the next game. But the bottom line is you’re a spectator for 20-25 minutes, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

That is my current mood about this Wizards team. After years of being on cusp of contending, the Wizards are simply just watching the ascension of teams like Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Toronto, Boston, Brooklyn, and Indiana.  A spirited run towards the eighth-seed would be temporary delightful, but overall, I have a fever, I’m mired in a spectator-related malaise, and not even a prescription of more cowbell could cure it.

@BFrantz202 – Tuned out. Hachimura might be awesome, but he’s not a particularly exciting prospect. Beal is a known quantity who can’t do much until he gets legitimate help. Scott Brooks isn’t about to revolutionize the sport with innovative schemes. I’m a Troy Brown believer, but I’ve been hurt by promising Wizards first-rounders so many times before.

The roster is full of guys who you kind of go, “Hey, they might be decent” — but deep down you know most of them won’t be there in a year or two. And that’s just not really enough to make me want to devote considerable time to a team that will probably finish 24th or so in the standings.

@TroyHalibur – I’m optimistic that the Wizards will outperform they lowest expectations that a team can have.

What Wizards player are you most interested to watch this season?

@LedellsPlace – Bol Bol. A day may come when I forgive Tommy Sheppard for drafting Admiral Schofield over Bol Bol. But it is not this day. Even if Bol never plays a meaningful minute in the NBA and Schofield goes on to a respectable journeyman career, the mere possibility of the younger Bol following his father’s footsteps in a Washington uniform was too much to pass up.

As for the Wizards, up until he was waived a week ago, my pick would have been Justin Anderson. He’s built like a football player and can shoot. Now, it’s Davis Bertans. He is an unrestricted free agent next year so he is probably one-and-done with the Wizards, but he is the kind of power forward who would look good firing up threes alongside John Wall. I am interested to see if he can hold his own defensively and on the boards.

@rashad20 – Bradley F. Beal.  It is one thing for him to come into the season thinking he was going to be the Pippen to Wall’s Jordan (or vice versa depending whose vantage point is taken), but it is an entirely different mind state for him to know that this squad will be the toothless 2006 Lakers and he is going to have to be Kobe Bryant.

For a full season–or as long as he stays healthy–Beal will score or facilitate big shots, he will be the coach on the floor, the motivator in the huddle, the alpha dog in practices, the last name called during pregame introductions, and he will enjoy all the spoils (and the blame) that comes with that role.

If you read the overall mood of this Wizards preview, it certainly feels like regardless of how well Beal does in that leadership role, this team is destined for a depressing finish.  But Beal and his ability to be the proverbial Man could possibly change that, and it will be enjoyable to watch—until he gets traded to the Heat or Nuggets next season.

@BFrantz202 – Hachimura and Brown, as boring as that answer is. If Satoransky was still in DC, he might be the choice. And sure, Isaiah Thomas could have a resurgence. But this year will probably come down to finding a worthwhile piece for the future, and that means one of the young first-round picks. 

@TroyHalibur – I’m most interested to see what Jordan McRae can do as a microwave scoring option off the bench.

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Adam Rubin
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Adam grew up in the D.C. area and has been a Washington Bullets fan for over 25 years. He will not refer to the franchise as anything other than the Bullets unless required to do so by Truth About It editorial standards. Adam spent many nights at the Capital Centre in the ‘90s where he witnessed such things as Michael Jordan’s “LaBradford Smith game,” the inexcusable under-usage of Gheorghe Muresan’s unstoppable post moves, and the basketball stylings of Ledell Eackles.